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I have a Mac running OS X 10.5 that has a Windows XP boot camp partition that will no longer boots and is throwing me input/output errors when I attempt to view the Bootcamp partition in Terminal. My first priority is backing up everything off this partition.

What are some methods I can use to copy over the files to an external disk? I'm looking for something that will hop over the io errors and grab as much as possible.

Basically, I can boot into the Mac OS X without problem and the Bootcamp partition appears. However, browsing the Bootcamp partition in Finder or viewing the files in Terminal is slow and problematic (io errors). Any advice on getting those files out as quickly as possible is appreciated.

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2 Answers 2

The majority of drive clone and partition tools will have options (or flags) to copy data even from bad areas of disks... Personally i use Norton Ghost, quite an old version (5.0c) with the "-IA -OR -FRO" flags as i boot it into a DOS enviroment.

Have cloned hundreds of drives over the years, with all sorts of 'issues', with many types of OS using this (including several Mac's). But I will admit when i've copied Mac hard drives i've done it disk->disk on a standard IBM-PC, then put the replacement drive(s) into the Mac. :)

Hiren's Boot disk has many cloning tools aswell as partition managers.

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Can I boot into Norton Ghost or Hiren's Boot disk on a Mac? –  mistercompie Nov 8 '11 at 15:02
    
I'm unsure, part of me thinks you can as the filesystem is included on the CD (the same way as a linux live CD would work), but then part of me thinks that the underlying Mac architecture would mean the software was unable to read bus/memory information to find the drives. I'm amend my answer. –  HaydnWVN Nov 8 '11 at 16:17
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You can run ddrescue under OS X. It can do a raw clone of the volume (either to another disk or an image file), skip unreadable blocks, then after it gets the easy parts go be and retry the parts it missed on the first pass. Basically, the longer you leave it running, the more data it'll get. It also logs its state, so you can stop it, check the recovery (be sure it's mounted readonly, though that's normal for NTFS under OS X), and if you're missing something just rerun and it'll pick up where you stopped it. There are some notes on using it under OS X at this Mac OS X Hints article.

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